Margaret Blank – Monoprint – Don’t See Cardinals Much ‘Round Here

I admitted that — at first — I was less than excited about the current theme — but, as I was returning to this group after a year away to study design with the inimitable Elizabeth Barton, and this was my first piece upon my return — I was determined not to grumble (much) about the requirements of the theme!  😉

I began by studying the process through video tutorials and reading in books from my personal library.  Most helpful was a YouTube video created by Laura Kemshall, which I watched several times.  Her particular technique seemed not only simple but compact and not overly messy.  When she illustrated the technique to create prints of thorn bushes — suddenly I was excited.  This could be used for wonderful impressions of trees — winter trees, to start.

Tree Sample 1

Inspirational photo – a stand of trees, Mirror, Alberta

I made several samples, two of which were pleasing enough to turn into the “mini” matted pieces I sell in local galleries.  Then it was on to the main project!

To my background fabric — commercial cotton on which I did an initial print — I added layers of mono-printing and inkjet printing on white organza.  I sandwiched the piece and quilted the ‘trees’ with dark grey silk and a fine sewing machine needle, sometimes following the printed lines and sometimes adding others in a random fashion.

I finished the piece by spattering ‘snow’ over the top with white paint, and adding tiny ‘cardinals’ for a splash of colour.  As the Northern Cardinal is not generally seen this far West…I titled my piece, “Don’t See Cardinals Much ‘Round Here”.

Don't See Cardinals Much 'Round Here

Don’t See Cardinals Much ‘Round Here

And a couple of ‘detail’ photos:

Cardinals - Detail 1

‘Cardinals’ – Detail 1

Cardinals - Detail 2

‘Cardinals’ – Detail 2


If it’s grey and wintry where you are…I hope you too will find a colourful birdie to brighten your day!

  1. English quilter

    This was a wonderful way to portray the bare trees in winter. I love the delicate nature of your prints and quilting. The cardinals provide a wonderful splash of colour and relief from the grey of winter.

  2. I like the softness and quietness of your piece, we can really feel the snow ! Splashing white paint on the top and adding the Cardinals give life to the scene. Bravo !

  3. Thank you for your kind comments! Chantal, you will soon be able to see this in person, as I am sending it for Beaujolais. 🙂

  4. I like the starkness reflecting the bitter winter weather. The cardinals add just the right amount of colour.


    Great idea to make your prints on organza layers. This gives the piece the stillness of winter, with nice little birds looking for something to eat……

  6. Love your work. Been following since I found you when you were doing the class with EB

  7. Thanks again, dear friends. Can you see me blushing? Hugs!

  8. I love your interpretation and the way you have used the monoprinting technique. You have really captured the impression of then trees and the quiet mood of winter. Your use of organza and the snow splashes are inspired, and the cardinals finish the work perfectly. I love it

  9. This piece really represents winter for me. Beautiful work. The red birds just complement it.

  10. A great interpretation I can feel the cold of the snow, well done.

  11. Very cold and wintry but also fascinating. This feels so peaceful.

  12. You raeally created winter trees. Beautiful. I love the way you created the cardinals by just using triangles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: